If there was a positive that could come from the pandemic turning the movie industry on its head, it was that certain questions had to be reckoned with. The idea of streaming and PVOD needed to be a conversation. The idea of hybrid releases to try and get an audience across multiple had to be a conversation. One of them was the concept of the theatrical exclusive window. The industry standard before COVID was 90-days, but it very much looks like that isn't going to be the case anymore, and that's a good thing. The 90-day window was too long for how fast-moving the industry is and how many movies are coming out these days. And a movie having a 45-day window doesn't mean it has to be pulled from theaters; if Free Guy is still pulling in decent theater numbers, Disney is not going to pull it, but it will give people a different way to see the movie. Disney seems to be committing to this new window as they announced that Eternals, West Side Story, The Kings Man, and Ron's Gone Wrong will all have 45-day theatrical windows, according to Variety. Meanwhile, the latest animation movie, Encanto, will have a 30-day window.
This is honestly the best-case scenario for all involved when it comes to movies like Eternals or West Side Story. Most movies do most of their business in the first month that they are in theaters, and in the coming weeks, there are so many movies coming out that there likely aren't going to be a lot of people going back for round two. There is also just the fact that the pandemic has made people more impatient to watch their movies at home. We got a little spoiled so cutting the theatrical window in half is the right way to go for everyone involved, and let's hope it becomes the new industry standard.